Howdy partners! It’s time to sharpen up on your Cowboy vocabulary! This fall’s Scholastic Book Fair is going to be like a hoedown! If you are a tenderfoot or greenhorn, and are feeling a little namby-pamby, no worries! You’ve got a bunch of partners who are happy to help you head ‘em up and move ‘em out!
(Translation: Hello my friends! It’s time to learn a bit of Cowboy vocabulary! This fall’s book fair is going to be like a party! If you are a newbie and are not feeling brave, don’t worry! You have a bunch of book fair chairpeople who are willing to help you get it going!)
Have you scheduled your book fairs for the year yet? If not, priority number 1 is to get them scheduled. This past year I scheduled the winter fair during our open house event. We were busy all night! If you can, I suggest you schedule at least one of your fairs in conjunction with an all-school evening program.
Set a goal. Yes, that’s right, set a goal for your fair. It can be based on sales, number of books sold, or number of minutes read. Whichever goal you choose, Scholastic has the tool to track it for you. It’s the first item in your online Chairperson’s Toolkit! Set it and share it with your school community. People who have a goal, have something to seek!
Get prepared. Preparation is the key to a successful book fair. Attend a face-to-face workshop. The Scholastic Representatives that conduct these workshops have so much to share. Not only do they give book talks on items in the fair, they are ready with suggestions on ways to get students involved, they share ideas from other chairpeople - ideas that are not in the Ideas Guidebook - ideas you would not get unless you attended a workshop.
My representative is Sharon Looby. She’s got ideas up her sleeves that can boggle your mind! I’m sure your rep has them too! Besides that, freebies are usually given out to all in attendance, and you get bonus Scholastic Dollar for attending.
Get connected. One lifeline to successful book fairs is to connect with other chairpeople on Twitter. I asked my fabulous followers, “What advice would you give to a new chairperson?” Take in some of their advice, be sure to follow them on Twitter:
Kristen Zayon, @AKLibraryChick
“Keep the small, non-book items, like erasers and invisible pens, at your circ desk!”
Traci Morkassel, @TMorkassel
“Buy the red vinyl BOOK FAIR banners & yard signs from the catalogue. You can reuse them every year and they bring in lots of traffic.”
“Display one copy of each poster on a wall for shoppers. You get to keep those posters for free that you display. I use them as prizes.”
“I put a Post-it note numbering each one and then shoppers just tell us what number so we can get it for them.”
“Ask your Rep to visit you during setup to help you. Your Rep will show you all kinds of tricks of the trade you never thought of!”
“My rep Toni taught me a cool trick of how to double stack those red boxes full of pencils, markers, and erasers from the Cashier table.”
“Call your rep 1-2 months before your fair and request popular series, titles and authors to be sent in addition to your fair. Customize.”
“I request any books or products related to Pete the Cat or Mo Willems they have in stock. The kids & teachers love them.”
“During setup photocopy "Last Copy" slips (online toolkit resource) and have volunteers put one in the last copy of all your books.”
“I put #'s on the book cases and alphabet letters on the tables. The students write the letter or # on their wish list next to the title & $.”
“Use the tops of the Scholastic book cases to display items you don't have room for on tables. I often put the series books up there.”
Aaron Cleaveley, @IceNIN75
“Recruit PAC volunteers. Especially if you also teach and something pops up in class you have back-up and someone can watch little trinkets.”
Vivienne Taylor, @bookbirdviv
“Include an invitation in prospective parent information packs!”
Sandra Carswell, @sandracarswell
“Schedule every class to come through to preview/shop early in the week of the fair and give them wish list papers and pencils to use. Have it the week of open house or family reading night so you can be open for the biggest sales.”
“Attend a workshop! Live or Webinar. You won't regret it! You also get Scholastic Dollars rewards!”
“Take pics of your cases/displays. When u call restock you will know what is missing from that spot! Scholastic Book Fair app is fast & easy too!”
“If you use AR, label the books with the reading level. Ask your rep for the sheets. Parents want books kids can read.”
Marcia Rhinehart, @mrhineha
“Have your BF rep on speed email...you will have many questions that they are happy to help you with. Also never be ashamed to ask for help.”
That’s from only a few seasoned Scholastic Book Fair chairpeople! Just always remember, you are not in this alone! Make connections!!
Here’s a little Cowboy vocabulary you can use. (For more, check out this site: Cowboy Language.)
- howdy = hi
- howdy partner = hi there friend
- ya’ll = all of you
- ya = you
- giddy up = let’s go (often said while riding to a horse)
- head ’em up, move ’em out. = Let’s go. (Let’s move these cattle.)
- a dude = a person who tries to dress like and talk like a cowboy, but really is a city person
- wet your whistle = have a drink (usually alcohol)
- hoedown = a dance
- a half-wit = an unwise person
- city-slicker = a person from the city
- tenderfoot or greenhorn = a new person
- hoosegow or calaboose= jail
- namby-pamby = not brave
- pony up = hurry up
- skedaddle = get out of here
- the jig is up = the game is over; the truth has been exposed
- He’s a goner. = He’s dead.
- by hook or crook = any way possible
- in cahoots = doing something in secret
- yokel = a person from the country (not the city)
- yonder = over there
- saloon = bar/restaurant
Giddy up and get a wiggle on for a Scholastic Book Fair season that’s fine as cream gravy!
What great ideas do you have for your Wild West Book Fair? Please be sure to post your ideas in the comments below so we all can see!